International community voices concerns


By Zachary Wright, Contributing Reporter

In 2015, Roosevelt housed 372 international students from various locations all over the world, including many from the Pacific Rim and Europe.

Some international students have voiced their concerns about RU, expressing that they feel like there is a lack of support from Roosevelt, as well as a lack of integration between local and international students.

Because the international community is very diverse, international students face their own unique challenges at Roosevelt.

One group that offers support to the international community is the International Student Association.

ISA’s first meeting was two years ago, and since then has reached out to international students by hosting events and having weekly meetings, open to any student on campus.

Vice President of ISA Nagesh Koritala, a graduate student, said “[Our] main intention is to help international students.”

He expressed that ISA helps any international students in need of assistance. The relationship between ISA and the international community remain close as ISA helping one another with any issue that an international student may face.

Secretary of ISA Leticia Garcia, a senior at Roosevelt, stated members of the group have shown new international students how to ride public transport, open bank accounts, and find an apartment in the city.

ISA member Jaksanapong Tilapornputt, a graduate student, and Garcia both agreed that while ISA is happy to help international students do these things, some direct help would be needed from the school itself. These tasks become more challenging for those who do not speak english well as language barriers can make things like this a bigger challenge.

Graduate student Samawi Al Helli, who studies computer science, said that Roosevelt could do a lot more than it currently does to help international students.

“Roosevelt needs to break the glass ceiling,” said Al Helli, referring to the lack of overall support for international students. He suggested, as Roosevelt continues to accept international students, that more can be done to accommodate international students beyond just getting them to Roosevelt.

Al Helli also suggested that Roosevelt should do more to engage international students with locals more. Along with other members of the international community, Al Helli has noticed a lack of integration between local and international students.

“Their purpose here is not just education, many come to experience culture,” said Al Helli.

Garcia explained by having events that incorporate other cultures, people that go can learn and understand who people are.

“That’s what we get to do with ISA,” said Garcia, “to become aware of different cultures and customs so there’s more of a unity.”

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